Ripgut Prairie Natural Area

Driving Directions

From Rich Hill, take Route B east 0.30 mile to Ripgut Prairie sign, then gravel road 515 north 0.50 mile, road turns east and goes 0.50 mile, then turns north and goes 0.25 mile to an unnamed gravel road that continues 0.25 mile north to the parking lot.


This area contains 140 acres of native wet prairie and the Bates County Drainage Ditch.

About This Area

Ripgut Prairie Natural Area is a 280 acre area located along the Bates Co. Drainage Ditch.

The natural area is the one of few remaining high quality examples of wet and wet-mesic prairie along the Marais des Cygnes River (Bates Co. Drainage Ditch). It is maintained by wet soil hydrology and rotational burning and haying.

The area contains a diverse assemblage of wildflowers, sedges and grasses, including the namesake of the prairie, 'Ripgut' or prairie cordgrass.

General Information

Kansas City



Owned by MDC

  • For questions regarding specific area information or regulations please contact the Four Rivers Area Headquarters office at (417) 395-2341. If there is no answer, please leave a message and someone will return your call as soon as possible. If you need to speak to someone immediately, please call the El Dorado Springs office at (417) 876-5226.

(Activity Explanations)
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Demonstrations  Example of wet and wet-mesic prairie types which are rare in Missouri 
Fishing - Catfish Good population.  
Fishing - Other Fair population.  
Hunting-Deer Fair population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  

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Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Parking Lot    

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Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Designated Natural Area Ripgut Prairie Natural Area 136.00 acres For more information see natural areas.  
Named Prairie Ripgut Prairie 136.00 acres Native prairie cordgrass prairie.  
Stream - Permanent Bates County Drainage Ditch 0.40 miles  

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Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Forest and Woodland 48.00  
Native Prairie 165.00  
Crop Land 55.00  
Wetland 12.00  
Total Area Acres:280.00 

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Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
No Designated Trails

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Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

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